Learning to ride, falling down, getting back on
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Beth Mayer’s work has appeared in the Threepenny Review and the Journal of Graduate Liberal Studies. She performs with the organization TalkingImage Connection and teaches writing at Metropolitan State University. She lives in Lakeville, Minnesota.
There are three things you need to be a smelt fisherman: a net, a bucket, and your thumb. There is only one thing you need to be a cadaver, and that’s to be dead. My father and I had gone smelt fishing each spring ever since I’d turned seven. Now it was 1972, I was a boy of ten, and Richard Nixon had just been reelected president.
What can I trust my mother to do? She will usually come when I need her. She will love my children as fiercely as I do, but in an older, less-complicated way. She will frequently enrage me.